Nothing Personal

[also see the All Points archive]

Culture and Society

How food has assumed the cultural position of art. New York Times Sunday Review, October 28, 2012.

Exile, ethnicity, and the search for the perfect futon. The American Scholar, Winter 2012.

The cult of the uniform. New York Times Sunday Review, August 21, 2011.

An address to the plebe class at West Point. The American Scholar, Spring 2010.

Friendship between the sexes, New York Times Sunday Review, April 8, 2012.


The morality of capitalism (or lack thereof). New York Times Sunday Review, May 13, 2012.

The culture of the Millennial generation, and everybody else. New York Times Sunday Review, November 13, 2011.

The new occupational hazards. New York Daily News, August 15, 2010.

The incredible vanishing working class. The American Scholar, Winter 2006.


Higher Education

The structural crisis in higher education. The Nation, May 23, 2011.

What the Ivy League won’t teach you. The American Scholar, Summer 2008.

Further thoughts on elite education. The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 3, 2010.

Fake stereotypes and true teaching. The American Scholar, Summer 2007. 

A profession slowly dies. The Nation, March 11, 2008.

The new student travel. The Chronicle of Higher Education, July 20, 2009. 

A short piece for a forum in The Chronicle of Higher Education, September 30, 2013. 

On teaching v. research. A short piece for The Columbia Spectator, February 21, 2012. 


Technology Culture

Thoreau weeps. The Chronicle of Higher Education, January 26, 2009.

“William Deresiewicz, by far the most eloquent critic of Facebook”—NY Review of BooksThe Chronicle of Higher Education, December 6, 2009. 

The future of books. New York Daily NewsDecember 26, 2010.


Arts and Letters (see also Book Reviews)

My acceptance speech for the NBCC Balakian Citation, February 28, 2013. 

A short piece for the New Yorker website, January 28, 2013. 

Real readers and real chutzpah. The Nation, October 21, 2008. 

Blood, muscle, nerves: English as it is lived. New York Times Book Review, January 9, 2005.

The sexualization of contemporary dance. The American Scholar, Spring 2005.

The future of the novel. A short contribution to a New York Times "Room for Debate" feature, June 6, 2012.



  • Letter from India

Notes on a place in transition. The Yale Review 92:2, April 2004.